Some things to talk about while Jayson Stark reveals his entirely reasonable HOF ballot...
1) Spring training heading to Arizona?
That's what Evan Drellich is reporting over at the Chron. With the Palm Springs deal stuck in the mud, the Astros are exploring other options, which includes a move out west. From Drellich:
"Absolutely, yeah," team lawyer Giles Kibbe said. "I'm probably going over there (to Arizona) in two weeks. I'm going over there to do a few things, but that will be one of them.
"I've been over there several times. Before we started serious discussions with Palm Beach Gardens, I had been looking at sites in Arizona, and talking to a lot of different people there. It's time to renew those discussions."
The article goes on to lay out the situation in Florida, which may or may not be able to be worked out. That's definitive analysis for ya, huh? Well, shut it. My brain is mush from all the HOF talk and that post earlier today. You'll get nothing and like it.
2) Jeff Passan takes on the Astros
Over at Yahoo! Sports, Jeff Passan starts a look at all 30 MLB teams with the Astros. I guess they had that coming. Hopefully, though, some other sad-sack team will claim that spot by the end of the season (I'm looking at you, Colorado).
Passan makes some great points about how Houston built its bullpen (because teams are always willing to give up pieces for relievers at the deadline) and how not every prospect will pan out ('cept The One Springer). Go check out his entire post, but make sure you stay for the finish:
Carlos Rodon is
Going to hold them hostage
Pay the ransom, boys
That's a haiku, folks, and it's a pretty awesome way to end a story.
3) Let's talk money
Two Astros money-related articles are on deck today. First up, Maury Brown talks about the economics of baseball in general amid this cash explosion:
So, I'd like to suggest to fans of baseball, stop when it comes to free agent contracts. Those using analytics to assign whether contract value is good or bad, your metrics are flawed. Those comparing players from different teams to say this club or that got into a bad deal, stop looking at the contract dollars. The only thing you can neatly drop into a spreadsheet or database is whether a player has more room in his performance ceiling or whether the contract will see decline and that's assigned to years and player performance. That's it. How the dollars in the contact over its life are rated depends on the free agency market, and that market shifts and changes, not only in a given year, but within the year. Not only by position, but by market. Not only by market, but by each club's ledger. It is exceptionally difficult-if not impossible-to add adjustments of that nature into any analytics equation. And that's why it's largely ignored; it's not neat and tidy.
Scott Feldman nods wisely.
Then, David Barron updates us on the CSN Houston negotiations, where the Rockets ask for just a bit more time to reach deals, buy the network outright, etc.
"The Rockets have made significant progress," the motion continued. "Nevertheless, the Rockets need additional time to further advance their current negotiations."
Comcast and the Astros have not agreed to extend the Rockets' negotiating authority, the Rockets said, so the team wants the court to do so. The team said it is willing to continue negotiations while hearings begin, if the court wishes, on the Astros' motion to dismiss and the Comcast motion to name an interim trustee.
Whoo boy. The Phillies/CSN deal is even name-checked. No end in sight, everyone. No end in sight.